* US: Dow Futures: 13150.00 (0.55%), S&P 500 Futures: 1402.50 (-0.05%), NASDAQ Futures: 2751.50 (0.04%)
* Europe: CAC: 3412.68 (-0.33%), DAX: 6947.18 (0.01%), FTSE: 5776.82 (0.14%).
* Asia-Pacific: Australia: 4329.30 (-0.14%), China: 2262.79 (0.00%), Hong Kong: 20522.26 (-0.16%), India: 5317.90 (0.42%), Japan: 10109.87 (0.26%).
* Metals: Gold: 1668.20 (-0.22%), Silver: 32.48 (-0.02%), Copper: 3.85 (0.72%)
* Energy: Crude Oil: 103.09 (0.07%), Natural Gas: 2.12 (-0.24%)
Market and Economy News Update
U.S. stock-index futures little changed: U.S. markets are poised to open flat on Monday. The Dow and NASDAQ futures were in the green, while the S&P 500 futures was marginally lower..
European markets mixed: Markets were mixed on Monday as concern about the euro area’s debt crisis overshadowed a positive manufacturing data from China.
Asian markets end higher: Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Monday, as better than expected Chinese PMI helped investors ease off some worries about slowdown in the world’s second largest economy. A weaker yen helped Japan’s NIKKEI 225 (INDEXNIKKEI:NI225) end 0.3 percent higher. The HANG SENG INDEX (INDEXHANGSENG:HSI) fell for the forth straight day, closing down 0.2 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) failed to hold onto early gains and slipped 0.1 percent. Markets in mainland China are shut for a three-day public holiday.
Japanese business sentiment fails to improve in March: The Bank of Japan’s closely-watched Tankan survey, which reflects broad growth trends in the economy, showed that sentiment among Japan’s largest manufacturers failed to improve in March. The quarterly Tankan index was minus 4 in March, unchanged from the reading in December. Economists’ were expecting a reading of minus one.
China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index rises to a one-year high: The state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said Sunday that Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), a gauge to indicate manufacturing expansion, jumped to a one-year high of 53.1, up from February’s 51.0. But HSBC’s PMI, which was also released on Sunday, and which puts more emphasis on smaller companies, fell to 48.3 in March from 49.6 in February.
Company News Update
* Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)gained 0.3 percent in New York morning trade, after the maker of iPhone was rated a new buy at Topeka Capital Markets.
* Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), the largest Internet retailer, slid 1.8 percent after was downgraded to “neutral” from “buy” at Bank of America Corp.
* Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), the world’s largest coffee-shop operator, said it is planning to triple the number of stores in China, which is set to become its second-biggest market by 2014.
* Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) slumped 1.4 percent after a news report yesterday said that Roche Holding AG may drop its bid for the diagnostics company.
* AVI BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVII) fell 31 percent in New York trading after the results of clinical tests for its treatment for muscular dystrophy failed to show any impact on the ability to walk..
* Banking stocks were the biggest losers in Europe today, with HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (NYSE:HBC) and Barclays PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BCS) slipping more than a percent and BNP Paribas SA (EPA:BNP) down 2 percent.
* Randgold Resources Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:GOLD) fell 1.5 percent in London trading after Nomura downgraded the stock amid the political uncertainty in Mali, where it has significant operations.
* Vodafone Group plc (LON:VOD) (NASDAQ:VOD) is planning to take the Indian government to the United Nations over its demands for more than $2 billion for a 2007 acquisition.
* Oriflame Cosmetics (ORI) jumped after Coty Inc. offered to buy Avon Products Inc. for $10 billion in cash.
* Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (TYO:8306) (NYSE:MTU) jumped 3.4 percent and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Inc. (TYO:8316) surged 1.7 percent in Tokyo trading, after a Nikkei report on Saturday said that consolidated net profits at Japan’s three major banking groups for the just-ended fiscal year are expected to increase 30 percent from the previous year.
* Aluminium Corporation of China Limited (HKG:2600), the world’s second-largest alumina producer, slipped 1.6 percent in Hong Kong, after agreeing to buy up to 60 per cent of Mongolia-focused coal miner SouthGobi Resources Ltd (HKG:1878) for about $HK7.2 billion ($892 million). Shares SouthGobi Resources surged 18 percent.
* Haier Electronics Group Co, Ltd. (HKG:1169) rallied 8.4 percent after posting a forecast-beating 44 percent jump in 2011 net profit. Analysts at UBS upgrade the stock to “buy”, and increased the price target from HK$10.86 to HK$11.50.
* Hong-Kong listed investment holding company, Greenheart Group Limited (HKG:0094), fell 9.2 percent after Richard Chandler Corp, the largest shareholder in its parent, Sino-Forest Corporation (TSE:TRE), proposed a restructuring plan for the Toronto-listed Chinese forestry company.
* Southeast Asia’s biggest bank, DBS Group Holdings, has agreed to buy Indonesia’s Bank Danamon, for about $7.2 billion.
Economic Calendar for Monday, April 02, 2012:
10:00 A.M. ET: ISM Manufacturing Index (March)
10:00 A.M. ET: ISM Prices Paid (March)
10:00 A.M. ET: Construction Spending (MoM) (February)
11:00 A.M. ET: 4-Week Bill Announcement
11:30 A.M. ET: 3-Month Bill Auction
11:30 A.M. ET: 6-Month Bill Auction
12:35 P.M. ET: Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank President Sandra Pianalto speaks